Customer service representatives get a bad rap. Sure, some of them deserve it. Often, however, the problem really comes from the caller’s end.
Think about the last time you called customer service. By the time you call, you are probably already somewhat upset or bothered by the situation you have found yourself in. You’re emotional. Unfortunately, being overly emotional doesn’t tend to help you fix your situation.
You might even be predisposed to be angry at the customer service rep who takes your call. Think about how often you’re surprised when you actually get good help. This is because you expect your customer service calls to go poorly and you prime yourself to get angry.
A very short article at Lifehacker, Get Better Customer Service By Knowing Exactly What You Want, briefly shows how you can get better results out of these kinds of calls by providing precise information, using correct industry terms, and being direct about what you want to happen.
There’s the example of a man trying to change to a different flight since he’s been delayed at the airport. He calls customer service and tells them the flight number he was on instead of saying something like, “Yeah, hi, my flight got delayed, I wanted to see if I can get another flight.”
His wording goes like this: “Hi, I’m on delayed United 686 to LGA from Chicago. Can you get me on standby on United 680?” He noticed that 680 was the next flight scheduled to leave, so he asked to be placed on that flight. It makes perfect sense. Ask and you shall receive. Read more flight tips here on Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen blog.
Direct, clear, right to the point. Taking a few seconds to consider exactly what you want to happen after your customer service call will help you solve your problem. Remember, it doesn’t make these people’s day to ruin yours. They probably want you off the phone as much as you want to be off the phone.
In the words of Jerry Maguire, “Help them help you.”
Other Ways to Get More Out of Your Customer Service Calls
If you’re calling a cell phone company or your cable company, you want to talk to someone who can actually make things happen for you.
Tell the representative you’re talking to that you want to speak to the retention department, which is where you can often find some sweet perks. If they’re afraid you’re going to walk, they may try hard to keep your business.
Write down names of individuals you talk to and write down any transaction numbers they may give you. All these things save time and will hopefully save you money.